New York Women in Film & Television presents film festival awards and scholarships

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Director Laura Checkoway was honored for her documentary “The Cave of Adullam” by the New York Women in Film & Television at the Hamptons International Film Festival. [Courtesy photo]

New York Women in Film & Television has presented 10 scholarships to film and television production students and 14 festival awards to filmmakers at seven New York area festivals in 2022 as part of the organization’s ongoing commitment to nurturing the next generation of women in media.

The organization presented festival awards for Excellence in Directing across various categories to Ellie Foumbi (“Our Father the Devil”) and Laura Checkoway (“The Cave of Adullam”) at the Hamptons International Film Festival; Ju Martins (“Nā Kama Kai – Children of The Ocean”) and Cassie Hay and Amy Winston (“Queens of Pain”) at Montauk Film Festival.

Also, the organization honored Karina Dandashi (“Dress Up”), Silvina Schnicer and Ulises Porra (“Carajita”), and Laura Angel Rengifo and Noah David DeBonis (“Strangers to Peace”) at New York Latino Film Festival; Marchelle Thurman (“Black White & The Greys”) and Paula Cajiao (“Shell Shocked”) and Edna Luise Biesold (“Sunscreen”) at SOHO International Film Festival.

In addition, New York Women in Film & Television awarded Jasmin Mara López (“Silent Beauty”) and Kayla Sun (“The Code of Family”) at UrbanWorld Film Festival; along with Holly Morris (“Exposure”) and Signe Baumane (“My Love Affair with Marriage”) at Woodstock Film Festival.

“NYWIFT is proud to expand our festival partnerships to recognize top-tier talent, emerging voices, and the women content creators making waves in narrative and documentary filmmaking,” said New York Women in Film & Television CEO Cynthia Lopez in a statement.

“It is so impressive that these recipients not only completed their films during the pandemic – they excelled in reinventing how films are made during this time.”

The festival award winners each received a cash prize in addition to a one-year Industry Membership with New York Women in Film & Television. Most were presented in-person by a member of the organization’s leadership team at each festival’s awards ceremony or screening.

Among the students, nine scholarships were presented to women studying at Brooklyn College, City College, Columbia University, Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, Hunter College, New York University and Stony Brook University.

Plus, one student received the New York Women in Film & Television’s Sabrina Wright-Gilliar Award at the Academy for Careers in Television & Film.

Awards were presented to Brooklyn College Film Production undergraduate students Nevada Caldwell and Aurora McCrory; City College MFA candidate in Film Production Julie Neira Campoverde and Columbia University MFA candidate in Screenwriting and Directing Nana Duffuor.

Also, scholarships were awarded to Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema MFA Cinematography student Luisa Madrid; Hunter College MFA candidates in Integrated Media Arts Melissa Montero and Jacqueline Wade; New York University MFA candidate in Film Bethiael Alemayoh; and Stony Brook University MFA candidate in Directing Micah Demby.

This year’s Sabrina Wright-Gilliar Award at the Academy for Careers in Television & Film was presented to aspiring Assistant Director Jasmine Gonzalez. The scholarship honors the memory of the legendary prop master Wright-Gilliar (“The Good Wife”) and supports a high school senior committed to a career in production.

“It is vital to support and nurture women creatives as they leave academia to begin the next phase of their professional journeys,” Lopez said in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome them to the NYWIFT community and are excited to see what each of these wildly talented students will accomplish.”

In addition to receiving cash scholarships, all were also welcomed into the organization’s Next Wave membership program for emerging professionals.

For more information on the New York Women in Film & Television’s scholarships and programs, go to


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